All About the Brazilian Keratin Treatment
Many of you enjoy hair straight and silky, but are looking for alternatives to pressing, ironing or relaxing to achieve that glossy mane you want. Keratin treatment which has become increasingly popular within recent years may be an option. It is known by several different names, including Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT for short) and Brazilian straightening treatment. As well as various brand names, this is the newest craze for getting that silky straight hair that you’ve always wanted. Is a BKT suitable for black hair? If so, what are the results expected?
Brazilian straightening treatments do not have the tried-and-true harsh chemicals that you'll find in typical black hair relaxers. Chemicals such as sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide, or chemicals you'll find in curling perms like ammonium thioglycolate. Your hair is straightened with the active ingredient keratin, a protein much like one of the components of human hair. Keratin works to "naturally" straighten the hair. People familiar with the treatment claim that it actually strengthens the hair, making it stronger since keratin is so similar to hair's natural protein.
Previously Processed Hair:
Those who relax their hair know that some coloring processes are especially harsh on top of already processed hair. You cannot apply a relaxer to previously relaxed hair without having to worry about overprocessing. However, a keratin treatment works well on highlighted, colored or previously processed hair.
Time and Cost:
Lets say you decide to get a keratin treatment. Expect it to take at least a couple of hours to complete, from beginning to end. The Keratin Treatment is not cheap. Also depending on where you live, prices range anywhere from $150 - $350. Basically, the stylist applies a keratin solution to your hair, just as he/she would hair color. The hair is blown dry and sealed afterwards with extreme temperatures of up to 450 degrees. In order for the formula to be sealed into the hairs cuticle, a hot iron is required.
How Long it Lasts:
A Keratin Treatment will gradually wash away unlike relaxers and curly perms which are permanent. Eventually, you will notice your hairs natural curl returning. This may take place anywhere from six weeks to a few months. For longest lasting results, use shampoos that have a neutral pH.
What to Expect:
Once you get the treatment, for the first several days you may not wash your hair or get it wet. A secure hair cover while bathing is neccesary. Avoiding exercise is essential due to the danger of sweating it out, as in putting any kind of product on your hair is not allowed. For these few days, you can’t put your hair into a ponytail, pin it back or even tuck it behind your ears because this can cause kinks that will stick in your hair. At first, your hair may be extremely straight following the treatment where it lacks body. However, in time some volume will return.
Just with all hair products and treatments, results may vary. A great degree of the results depends on your stylist and on your hair type. Some women will get super sleek hair that has no wave till ofcourse the treatment begins to wear off. However, other women will see less frizz with no real straightening, unless they use a flat iron when styling. You may be disappointed if you are seeking bone straight locks. If you’re looking for a easier way to manage hair and you’re not too concerned about how straight it turns out, a Keratin Treatment may be what you are looking for.
One of the major concerns with a keratin treatment is that some if the brand that market it contain formaldehyde (yes, the same solution used to embalm dead bodies). Some of these formaldehyde containing formulas aren't approved by the FDA. However, others claim to be formaldehyde-free, still contain trace amounts (minimal enough to legally claim them formaldehyde-free). Also, 450 degrees is extreme heat that is being places on your hair, especially considering the flat iron has to make several passes to officially seal the treatment. If you are pregnant or nursing, a keratin treatment is not recommended.
Before You Commit:
If you are considering the treatment, make sure you ask around before making an official appointment. Recommendations are imperative aswell. If you are face to face with a stylist at a consultation, be sure to be armed with questions. If the stylist happens to be abrupt or catch an attitude because you dared to question him/her, look for another salon for your keratin treatment. This is your hair we are talking about; your main concern should be your health because if you aren’t, why should anyone else be?